Demo­c­ra­t­ic Repub­lic of Con­go receives vis­i­tors from all over the world through­out the year, the biggest per­cent­age of these vis­it to do goril­la trekking. Even when news always con­nects the coun­try with inse­cu­ri­ty due to unsus­pect­ed rebel attacks, tourism is Con­go is a very seri­ous and active indus­try with the utmost secu­ri­ty always reas­sured to all tourists.  Usu­al­ly referred to as DRC, Demo­c­ra­t­ic Repub­lic of Con­go is the sec­ond largest coun­try in Africa after Alge­ria and also the 4th most pop­u­lat­ed in Africa with an esti­mat­ed pop­u­la­tion of 75 mil­lion people.

Con­go is locat­ed in East Africa and shares its bor­ders with Cen­tral African Repub­lic in the North, Repub­lic of Con­go in the North­west, South Sudan in the North­east, Ugan­da in the East, Burun­di and Rwan­da also in the East, Zam­bia to the South, Ango­la to the South West and the Atlantic Ocean in the West.

The coun­try is so rich in tourism in that 12% of it is cov­ered by pro­tect­ed areas that include reserves and nation­al parks. Con­go is known for host­ing endem­ic species which include okapi, bono­bos, Con­golese pea­cock and Moun­tain goril­las togeth­er with the lush green forests and their rich African cul­ture all of which are inter­est­ing to see and experience.


Virunga National Park

Virun­ga Nation­al Park is locat­ed in East­ern Demo­c­ra­t­ic Repub­lic of Con­go at the edge of the sec­ond largest trop­i­cal rain­for­est in the World, the Con­go basin. Hav­ing been des­ig­nat­ed as a UNESCO world her­itage site in 1979, Virun­ga Nation­al Park is the old­est nation­al park in Africa and also its most bio diverse pro­tect­ed area.

The park is known to be a habi­tat to thou­sands of wildlife species includ­ing mam­mals, birds, and rep­tiles among oth­ers more than any oth­er pro­tect­ed area in the world inclu­sive of endan­gered species. Virun­ga Nation­al Park is part of the Virun­ga Con­ser­va­tion Area which cov­ers areas of Ugan­da and Rwan­da and also the only place where moun­tain goril­las can be trekked in the whole world.

Cli­mate in the park is accom­moda­tive to all tourists and wildlife as its warm and mild depend­ing on the sea­son since the park is also crossed by the Equa­tor which brings with it the equa­to­r­i­al cli­mate and the savan­nah veg­e­ta­tion that sup­port the wildlife. In addi­tion to this, the park is sur­round­ed by dif­fer­ent water bod­ies includ­ing Lake Kivu, Lake Albert, Lake George, R. Con­go, R. Sem­li­ki, among oth­ers that cre­ate a mix in the cli­mate to fit the alpine veg­e­ta­tion and mon­tane forests in the park.

Virun­ga Nation­al Park is home to dif­fer­ent over 706 bird species, 218 mam­mal species includ­ing; buf­faloes, ele­phants, leop­ards, hip­popota­mus, giant for­est hog, okapi among oth­ers.  Virun­ga Nation­al Park is also home to the world’s largest lava lake with boil­ing lava through­out the year which is found at the peak, an expe­ri­ence that can­not be got­ten any­where else.


Locat­ed in East­ern Con­go near Bukavu town on Lake Kivu’s west­ern bank, Kahuzi-Bie­ga Nation­al Park is home to the Grauer’s goril­la com­mon­ly known as the East­ern Low­land Goril­las, the largest amongst all oth­er goril­la species and is also home to oth­er pri­mates. The park was named after two dor­mant vol­ca­noes with­in the area — Mount Bie­ga and Mount Kahuzi. Hav­ing been found­ed in 1970, the park is famous for trekking of the East­ern Low­land Goril­las and adven­ture that is so mem­o­rable tourists have a chance to track these goril­las to their habitats.

The park is cov­ered by green veg­e­ta­tion inclu­sive rain­forests and swampy veg­e­ta­tion. This attracts dif­fer­ent bird species as the park is record­ed to have about 349 bird species which includes 42 that are endem­ic species. Oth­er than the East­ern Low­land Goril­las, the park is also habi­tat to oth­er unique world life includ­ing the Bon­go ante­lope, the dwarf buf­fa­lo, east­ern chim­panzees, among others.


Gorilla Trekking

This is the most famous activ­i­ty and the rea­son why many tourists vis­it Virun­ga and Kahuzi-Bie­ga Nation­al Parks. At Virun­ga Nation­al Park, 8 goril­la fam­i­lies are avail­able for trekking and two goril­la fam­i­lies are avail­able in Kahuzi-Bie­ga Nation­al Park. Com­pared to Ugan­da and Rwan­da, goril­la trekking in Con­go is cheap­er due to the low price of goril­la permits.


Virun­ga Nation­al Park is home to Mount Nyi­ragon­go which has the largest lava lake at its peak. When you vis­it Con­go, you wouldn’t want to leave with­out hav­ing a chance to see boil­ing molten lava at a cold moun­tain peak. The expe­ri­ence is adven­tur­ous and an actu­al test to real hik­ers. Tourists who vis­it Kahuzi-Bie­ga Nation­al Park also have an oppor­tu­ni­ty to hike Mount Kahuzi and Mount Bie­ga and can see the beau­ty of the park from the moun­tain summit.

Chimpanzee Tracking

Deep in the rain­forests with­in Virun­ga Nation­al Park is a place habit­u­at­ed for chim­panzees. Aside from goril­la trekking, chim­panzee track­ing is the oth­er pop­u­lar activ­i­ty with­in the park as tourists have a jun­gle adven­ture as they track and inter­act with chimpanzees.


With the park being habi­tat to numer­ous species, it’s a per­fect des­ti­na­tion for bird watch­ing with species such as the Nar­row-tailed star­ling, African fish eagle, Grey throat­ed bar­bet among oth­ers. The park also hosts migrat­ing birds that come to the park which at times records the num­ber of bird species to reach 700.

Boat Cruise at Lake Kivu

This activ­i­ty is pop­u­lar for tourists who vis­it Kahuzi-Bie­ga Nation­al Park. With a boat cruise, tourists have an expe­ri­ence of the cool water breeze as they watch the dif­fer­ent bird species, vis­it the dif­fer­ent islands includ­ing the mon­key island, peace island and Napolean Island.

When to visit?

Some roads lead­ing to the dif­fer­ent tourism des­ti­na­tions are not in good con­di­tions, this means trav­el­ling dur­ing rainy sea­son could make your trip com­pli­cat­ed and disturbing.

Oth­er activ­i­ties such as goril­la trekking and hik­ing are also adven­tur­ous and more enjoy­able dur­ing the dry sea­son. The dry months usu­al­ly are Jan­u­ary, Feb­ru­ary, June, July, August and Sep­tem­ber; how­ev­er, you can still vis­it any time you please.

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